Prepping for playground clean-up on Monday!

May 5th, 2017      

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Next Week at Hilltop
New Billing System
We Value Your Feedback
Good Times...
Middle School Play
Toddler Program (TP)
Birch Room
Willow Room
Lower ELementary (LE)
Upper Elementary (UE)
Middle School (MS)
Before and After Care
Hilltop Helpers
Community News
Next Week at Hilltop

Monday 5/7/17
Ultimate Frisbee
MS Baseball Practice
MS Performance in the Arts Barn 7-9pm

Tuesday 5/8/17
Strength and Conditioning 
MS Baseball Game @ Leland and Gray 4-6pm
MS Performance in the Arts Barn

Wednesday 5/9/17
Girls on the Run
Ultimate Frisbee
MS Baseball Practice

Thursday 5/10/17
Strength and Conditioning 
UE Trip to Smith Botanical Gardens
MS Baseball Game @ Dummerston

Coming up...

Tuesday 5/16/17
Last LE Work Share 3pm followed by a teacher presentation for parents.
Free Childcare provided from 3:30-4pm.

Wednesday 5/17/17
LE Field Trip to Holyoke Fish Ladder

Thursday 5/18/17
UE Pinnacle Trip
(3rd's, 4th's and 5th's)

Friday 5/26/17
Grandparents/Special Friends Day
Noon Dismissal for All

Check out the School Calendar 

SummerFun Registration has started! Flyers are at the front desk and online ! Sign up now as camps fill quickly!

Please explore the Summer camps and activities offered by Brattleboro Recreation in their  Summer Newsletter.

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Contra Dance on Friday.  We had a great time and raised lots of money for our Odyssey fund! For those of you had portraits taken by Christopher Irion, you should have received an email about how to proceed with the process. If you have not, you can email  l sutton-smith@ hilltopmontess and we will help you. Thank you all for your support!

New Billing System!

As many of you have seen, we are using a new billing system for the 2017-18 school year. If your student is enrolled for next year, and you have elected to pay by check, you should have received an email from "HILLTOP MONTESSORI SCHOOL, INC." on April 21st. This payment is due now. 

To those of you who have already paid the invoice - thank you! If you didn't see the email, please check in your junk folders, etc. Contact Tamara if you did not receive your emailed invoice.

Our new system enables you to pay online directly from your bank account as an ACH or with a credit card. There is no additional charge to you for this convenience. However, there is  an additional charge to the school for the credit card option. Please consider paying with an ACH withdrawal from your bank online. You'll be saving Hilltop from significant credit card fees and admin costs - money that could go to things that directly impact our students!

If you requested an automatic bank withdrawal or Credit Card payment on your contract to cover 2017-18 tuition, funds should be withdrawn on the 1st or the 10th of the month, based on what you specified in your contract.

The invoices for incidental charges (aftercare, etc.) 
for the remainder of this year will continue to be sent in hard copy from our old system.

We appreciate your understanding and communication as we work this transition aimed at making things clearer for all of us! If you have any questions about this, please contact Tamara.

Examples of current electronic invoices

We Value Your Feedback!

We're pleased to have 30 respondents already to our 2017 Parent Survey. We'd love to double that number by Monday , when we will be compiling the   results!

Good Times... and bargains!
Middle School Play

Toddler Program 

"Of all things love is the most potent." Dr Maria Montessori

Just a small sampling of the love found in Toddler Room. Thank you for sharing your lovely and loving children with us. We feel so lucky to spend our days with them.

Enjoy the weekend.
Ellie, Amanda & Marco

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Birch Room

In a Montessori classroom children have access to a long, unbroken span of time called the "work cycle". During this period, children have the opportunity to go deeply into a chosen activity, allowing time for the kind of deep concentration that best promotes learning. Long periods of open ended exploration, that happens after children are introduced to works, has also been shown to promote flexibility and creativity. It's always fun to see how current educational theory and research backs up what Maria Montessori discovered so long ago. She was truly an amazing thinking and observer of children!

Her are some examples of some deep, multistep work in our classroom just this week. 
Dylan shows off his work on the life cycles of ducks and foxes.

Sophie chooses a long lesson in letter formation to learn how to write her name.

Have a great weekend, and please join us for our playground clean up day, which has been rescheduled to 3:30pm on Monday, May 8th-pizza dinner provided!

-Cheryl, Serina, and Mariam

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Willow Room

Please join us Monday, May 8th for our Annual Playground Clean-up from 3:30-5:30pm, pizza will be provided!

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Lower El

Thank you to all who were able to attend our poetry-themed Author's Tea last Friday!  The students were excited to share their poems with you. And thanks to the parents of Children's House students who made time to attend Monday's  Moving Up Night.  

Our first Moving Up day was on Tuesday. Our visitors from K came for half an hour.  We made introductions, discussed what materials are the same in LE as in the Children's House and with partners (next year's Middlers!), discussed the unique features of certain birds that allow them to take advantage of their environment.  It was a pleasant visit that many felt ended too soon. Our next Moving Up Day, also a half hour long, will be next Tuesday, May 9th.

The Olders' yearly biography writing is underway! Everyone has chosen a subject of interest to them, and has begun to read and/or take notes.  As part of this study, we would like to encourage them to spend some time outside of school becoming more familiar with their famous subjects. This may mean watching videos online (footage of Houdini's stunts, for example) or looking at pictures to gain a better sense of the time period in which the subject lived. Here is the list of people they have chosen:

Luke-Jackie Robinson
Rhys-Albert Einstein
Tucker-Harry Houdini
Pete-Jeff Kinney
Corbin-Ernest Shackleton
Morgon-Sitting Bull
Mark-Theodre Geissel (Dr. Seuss)

Thank you in advance for helping your child with this. 

We would like to invite you to our last workshare of the year, on Tuesday, May 16th at 3pm. In addition to the half hour that you will be able to share with your child in the classroom, we will also be presenting activities to help your child retain their academic skills over the summer. This latter part is for parents, while children play in Aftercare until 4pm.  We hope you can come!

Enjoy your weekend.
Kerstin, Patrick, and Amelia

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Upper El

Please note upcoming important UE dates:
May 11th, Friday:  Field trip to Smith Botanical Gardens (regular drop-off and pick-up times, see email for drivers)
May 18Thursday: (rain date May 19th):  Pinnacle hike with  next year's  UE class (regular drop-off and pick-up times, see email for drivers)
May 25Thursday2:00pm: UE Museum
May 26Friday:  UE Museum followed by Grandparents day-noon dismissal for all!
May 31-June 2Wednesday-Friday:  Three-Day trip (regular drop-off time on Wednesday, regular pick-up time on Friday)

Ben and Ally hammering metal for jewelry

Will sawing copper sheets for jewelry during electives

Proving geometric equivalencies using the constructive triangles

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Middle School

The Middle School is busy writing and rehearsing its annual performance. The newly titled show, "Unclaimed", is a dramatic miracle that has taken shape. The creation of this show is like a bit of alchemy. The musings of individuals, small groups of collaborators, and full class brain storming stirs the pot and eventually turns to gold.  Ultimately, the performance is the vehicle we use to process our experiences in Alabama and the year's work in exploring the evolution of the American identity. Always fascinating, powerful, tuneful, funny, and moving! The Middle School performances are Monday, May 8 at 7:00pm (with a festive reception afterwards!) and Tuesday, May 9 at 7:00pm in the Arts Barn Theater. There will also be a school show on Tuesday morning at 10:00am. We hope to see you there!

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Before and After Care

Thank you Josh for all your dedication to our Hilltop Students during aftercare, we will miss you and wish you the best of luck on your next endeavor!

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Hilltop Helpers

Spring has Sprung!  Thank you to Marta Bernbaum, mom to Finn in LE, for donating her time and working in our Hilltop Gardens-they are looking good!

A big THANK YOU to Hazel for providing our students and staff with delicious pizza each week!

Thank you 
Martin Humfeldt for donating delicious Green Mountain yogurts to our Children's House classrooms for snack-we are grateful!

Julia Fedoruk  in the Middle School would like to thank all of you who have helped refugees through donations of clothing and funds to Carry Me Home, the Brattleboro-based 501c3 non-profit that sends clothing to refugees in Eastern Europe. We are currently shipping spring items, with special focus on items for refugee children who have begun attending schools in Greece. We are also beginning to stockpile fall/winter items to begin shipping in late summer. Please bring items from the list below to the collection box in the lobby. Carry Me Home is also in need of funds to pay for shipping. A 44 pound box costs $164 to ship. Please make donations via Indiegogo Generosit
, or leave a check made out to Carry Me Home With Love in the collection box.

NEEDED ITEMS  (In gently-used or better condition, washed, without stains, rips, or holes)

Adult (men's and women's small or medium, no L or XL please) and children's (all sizes) items:
-long pants, jeans, and leggings
-long skirts
-long or short sleeve tops
-sweaters and sweatshirts
-new underwear
-raincoats and winter coats
-rainboots and sturdy shoes, all sizes
-men's flip flops sizes 8-10.5
For shipping: 
-Essentials brand vacuum storage bags, size large, 17.5 x 27.5 inches. These are intermittently available at the Dollar Tree Stores in Brattleboro and Keene, and fit our shipping boxes perfectly.

You can find more information about Carry Me Home on Facebook  or via email. You may be interested in PBS Frontline's Exodus , a documentary on the refugee crisis that aired in December 2016 and is still available to watch on line.

Many thanks to Brattleboro Tire, 558 Putney Road in Brattleboro for donating
snow tires for our Hilltop van . Please visit Dan and the boys at Brattleboro Tire for your car's needs and be sure to say "Thanks" on Hilltop's behalf.  or call them at 802-254-5411.

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Community News

"Theophilia" by Paul Dedell inspired by a 13th century Miracle Play features The Choir School conducted by Susan Dedell and includes Hilltop students: Julia Fedoruk, Marion Wojcik, Julian Siegel, and Annelise Fedoruk.  "Theophilia" is a musical tale of betrayed friendship, devilish temptation, the appearance and intervention of saints, and forgiveness. Featured artist, Judith Serkin, is the cellist along with Susan Dedell on the piano.

Mark your calendars and join our very own Mariam
Diallo on Saturday, May 6th at 5pm,
  for a family-friendly celebration to benefit HOST. The event featuring Kevin O'Keefe's One-Man Circus in-a-Suitcase, dinner by Tito's Taqueria, and M'bolo, a Senegalese Rock and Afro-Pop Band. 118 Elliot, Brattleboro. Suggested donation $10 adults ($20 generous) and $7 children. Tickets at Everyone's Books or at the door. Tell your friends and bring them along! 

Want to earn some $$ for Hilltop AND have a blast doing it?!
The Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary is hosting their monthly Trivia Night this Monday Night, May 8th at 6:30pm at  the American Legion, 32 Linden Street in Brattleboro.  This month it's BATTLE OF THE SCHOOLS! Get your teams together and come on down to represent! Teachers, Administrators, Board Members, Students, Parents - anyone affiliated with your school is welcome to play on your team.  Teams are comprised of 6 players and you may have as many teams as you wish. Delicious dinner is included. $20 per player. Cash prize for the school with the winning team! For more information or to reserve a table, email .

The Brattleboro Women's Chorus presents their annual spring concert " Sing, My Sister! " on  Mother's Day, May 14th at 4pm at the Latchis Theatre . Under the direction of founder/conductor Becky Graber, ninety local women sing uplifting songs about perseverance, courage, hope, and the power of singing. They will be joined by five exceptional local musicians:   Cathy Martin on piano; Julian Gerstin, Lisa Newell, and Ben James on percussion; and Lisa McCormick on guitar and banjo as well as with her ukulele orchestra. 

Two songs on the program were arranged by Debbie Nordeen, the director of Womansong from Asheville, NC. One is "Sing, My Sister," which was created by British singer Annie Lennox to raise awareness of and funds to help women and children in Africa with AIDS. The other is "I Come From Women" by Amy Carol Webb, which celebrates our female ancestry.

Two other songs were crafted by strong African-American women. "I Am Determined" is from Ysaye Barnwell and "One Foot in Front of the Other" is by Melanie Demore. Other pieces include "Dig Down Deep" by Libby Roderick; "From Way Up Here" by Malvina Reynolds and Pete Seeger; and two by Australian composer Lisa Young, "Unity" and "Thulele Mama Ye" which feature the percussion section.

The ukulele orchestra joins in on Graber's arrangement of Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" as well as the Israel Kamakawiwo'ole version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and Albert Brumley's "I'll Fly Away."

Tickets are $12 adult, $20 generous, $10 student and senior and are available at or at the door. For information visit the chorus's new website at or call 802-254-8994.

Poetry, Bookmaking and Art Project Summer Program
Poetry Studio,  242 Piney Brook Way,  Brattleboro
802- 257-8972
Attention is the Beginning of Devotion, Mary Oliver
Once again a summer workshop combining poetry, bookmaking and
art, will be held at Ann Gengarelly's Poetry Studio. As always,
young people will have the opportunity to write and draw in a natural
setting with woodlands and beautiful gardens. Each student will have
both a poetry and bookmaking class each day. This program offers a
rare opportunity to enjoy a community of kindred spirits, a community
of kindness that provides personal attention to each student.
Poetry classes will be taught by Ann Gengarelly who has been a
poet-in -the-schools for over twenty-five years. Bookmaking and Art
Design will be led by Tony Gengarelly who teaches Art History at
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

AUGUST 7, 8, 10, 11, AND/OR AUGUST 14, 15, 17, 18
We welcome students between the ages of 6-17 (exceptions are made). Classes
will be kept small in order to maintain a one to six student-teacher ratio. Students
will be accepted on a "first-come, first-serve" basis. If interested call Ann
at 802-257-8972 or contact or .

Summer Language Camp August 7th-10th 
Express Fluency is offering Spanish, French, and Latin classes August 7th-10th, at BUHS. The classes run from 9-12pm each morning (9-11:30 Thursday). They will engage and delight students ages 7- adult. World-class language teachers are coming to Brattleboro from OR, CO, LA, MN, ME and MI to teach these classes and teachers from all over the US are coming to observe them and participate in teacher workshops in the afternoons. 

Offerings Include:
  • Elementary Spanish taught by Annabelle Allen (Ages 7-11)
  • Beginner Spanish taught by Grant Boulanger (Ages 12-adult)
  • Intermediate Spanish taught by Becca Lynch Nichols (High School to adult)
  • Beginner French with Tina Hargaden (Ages 12-adult)
  • Beginner Latin* with Justin Slocum Bailey(Ages 12- adult)

We expect these classes to fill up, so recommend registering early.
More info and registration can be found here:

Full time student price: $125 (before June 1st) 

*A note about Latin from Elissa McLean: My daughter (Emmy, age 12) and I took Justin's Latin class together last summer and had the best time! Justin is a gifted teacher and he literally brings Latin to life in the class. Before the class I was honestly a little unsure of why anyone would want to take a Latin class, but now I recommend it to everyone. There are so many connections to English and all the Romance Languages. This would be a great class for someone facing PSATS or SATS, wanting a base from which to explore many other languages, interested in science and medicine, and so much more! Plus, it is a ton of fun.  Emmy and I still remember the Latin from the class now  7 months later and its like we have our own secret language at home.

Creating with Clay Summer Camp 2017

Green Mountain Girls Camp
News Flash! Green Mt Camp for Girls, the beloved 100 year old summer camp in nearby Dummerston has openings for girls ages 4-13 this summer! They are welcoming 4 year olds for Session #1 (June 19-23)  for day camp from 8:30-4:30  and all other ages are welcome to come for the day or stay the night as this is a Try Me Camp week! Arts and Crafts, Drama and Dance, Nature, Music, Sports and Games, Swimming and so much more! They also have a pay by the day option that week if you have limited availability! Financial Aid is available if income eligible! This is a great chance for you to check out the camp during a time when our summer program hasn't started yet and there are still openings! Call Billie at 802-257-1751 today or go online to register at u nder the Come To Camp tab.

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